This reserve on the shore of the Western Cape, South Africa, features a colony of wild African penguins. These penguins are found in the waters off southern Africa and nest in colonies scattered along the coast. They are an endangered species, having been severely impacted by factors such as oil spills, the sale of their eggs as a delicacy, the use of their guano (which they need to make burrows) as fertilizer, and commercial trade in sardines and anchovies on which they feed.
What do you think they are talking about?
Penguins perch on the rocks lining the shore…..maybe thinking of a dive between crashing waves.
Penguins shelter from the winds that blow spindrift off cresting waves.
Rocks, constantly battered by the sea, are defining features on this Atlantic shore.
An abandoned seaside tower, a remnant of an old whaling station, serves as a sentinel for a colony of cormorants.
A solo cormorant flies across a rock face silhouetted by the churning surf below….
and three cormorants fly in a row farther offshore.
The first creatures I saw after arriving in Botswana were two birds native to southern Africa.
The first was the Burchell’s glossy starling, which gets its iridescence from a special structure in its feathers that acts as a prism and refracts light.
This exotic beauty, an Egyptian goose, with Hollywood-worthy eye makeup appears to be performing a repertoire on a balance beam.
These four images may be the very last ones of penguins that I ever post! Have I said that before?
These penguins, mostly Gentoos, huddle together against the swirling sand of the Falkland Islands.
These stately King penguins are taking a stroll along the shore of South Georgia Island.
Can anyone figure out why this penguin is named a Chinstrap?
And last, but certainly not least, this King penguin chick is not yet ready to learn what will become its most amazing skill: swimming.
First it has to lose the hair!
This entertaining bird, native to eastern Australia, is named for its unique call that ends with the sound of a cracking whip. Its cry stands out among all the other sounds in the forest.
The Southern Cassowary is a tall, flightless bird native to the tropical rain forests of New Guinea and northeastern Australia. It is a treasure to see one of these birds in the wild, even though it is smart to keep your distance. Their numbers are rapidly declining due to a variety of factors–loss of habitat due to the development of the rain forests, fatalities after being stuck by automobiles, competition for food with wild boars imported from Europe, and attacks by wild dogs introduced to reduce the boar population.
The words that come to mind when I look at this bird are “confident” and “well fed.” The pelican’s stance is one that conveys comfort in, and possibly even enjoyment of, being close to a human with a camera. It lives in a preserve where it is protected and has ample food. Sure, the bird could fly away. But it didn’t!